A Place of Her Own
For the last few months I have been working to extricate my life from that of an abuser. We were very close. I am well-versed in the signs of mental instability and codependent behaviors, but for whatever reason, I ignored them. What grew was a relationship based on sickness. I was idolized and villainized simultaneously. I thought I could maintain boundaries even though every one was mowed down over and over.
It is a mess, trying to remove someone from your daily life both on and offline. I've been grinding my teeth, experiencing flashbacks and nightmares. I want it to be over. That elusive "clean break" where you can block a person's access to you in every realm and walk away feeling safe? It doesn't exist.
It's like cleaning up after a hurricane. Years later you are uncovering lost treasures in the dirt one mile away when you thought everything dear to you was long since wound in tight. At the moment I am expanding my personal brand. I have refused to put my dreams on pause even though this individual thinks we may still be friends.
I seek isolation on my own terms.
The worst part is the love. You don't simply stop feeling it. I want to be able to forgive and move on. I see there is no way to do it safely. I have been taking a step further into my own life at a time, leaving spikes behind me to slow them catching up and clinging. I have assumed a new identity, for crying out loud, to be able to process this experience and every other abusive experience it brought to the forefront of my mind.
What I am learning is my own strength. I am knee-deep in this perpetual plague and still moving. Despite that this person is so practiced they have managed to create a backstory for us that is publicly accepted as true despite that it is false. They told me that wanted to be me. I believe them. I think they hate me as much as they admire me. It's a scary place to be. But despite it all, I am still trekking forward. I won't be delayed.
In this escape, it turns out I am my own hero.
I will find that place that is just mine. I am going to build something brilliant and beautiful. I will do this because I am listening to myself, paying attention to the signs, and believing that I am capable of so much more than being an emotional whipping boy for a person whose life is genuinely in shambles, but through no fault of my own.
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